Saturday, 29 March 2008

Local Cragging - Park Nab

(Bouldering Zero Route & below Bouldering on Lion King)

We stopped doing this for quite a while, but recently the lifts have been hard to come by and the weather windows small, so Camp Hill and Park Nab have been looked upon favourably once more. Today a trip to Park Nab was arranged and we managed a few routes before the rain began to downpour and the wind began to rage.
Did alot of routes i'd done before, climbing for milage rather than "grades" and this was good fun and took me back to where it all began. We got some good photos on some Park Nab classics as well.

(The Superb Chairmans Climb)
The best route of the day was the superb 'Hara Kiri' a route i wish to solo ever since i lead it back in October, but never really saw it as very important. In actual fact i soloed it twice for good measure. Long Bow as well, probably contributing to the polish, but a superb route non the less. Decided i wanted to do Chairman's Climb as well, as this is "high" and exposed which was good practice in the howling wind. A decent day until we went to NOS and climbed the V4 6a traverse and it started to rain. Bollox

(The great reach of Hara Kiri)

Friday, 28 March 2008


My dogs, often used as Boulder Mats...


Evening Cragging - Camp Hill

The time has come, the nights are pulling out and the clocks are about to go forward, so everything is ready to start a full on assault of the local crags after College. Indeed, the first Cleveland MC meet is on the next Tuesday at Park Nab.
Wednesday night was used to test this evening cragging theory, and although the clock issue would greatly improve daylight, but there was enough to get a few routes nailed, including the project to the left of Cling Wrap finishing as for the direct, a route we called 'Cling Wrap - Tin Foil Variation' and was a good test of balance and nerve, the top moves being unprotected and reachy, with a balancy pocket manoeuvre to gain the headwall.

Unfortunately an attempt at the E3 'Waves Within' was looked on as 'impossible' until we consulted the guidebook back at home, where we found the start was not direct! but actually gained the flake from the right! Ah well, that leaves Jester HVS, Ace of Winds HVS and Waves Within E3 to be climbed.

The evening was a success however, as i reclimbed Franco's tough traverse at a sustained 5c, and also the delicate 'Mad Axeman' HVS as well as Cling Wrap Direct and the F.A, E1 and E1/2. I was particularly happy with these, as i certainly found the top out bold and reachy off crimps and tiny edges for your feet. I didn't fancy the fall, which was only about 6/7 metres, but still.

Unfortunately blurred, but this is the pocket section on the F.A (Quite Artistic i thought!)

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Cragging whatever the Weather

The Saturday saw Franco, Lewis and Matthew (Mini) Cooper, journey to Ingleby Incline for some photos of the Classic 'Cosy Corner' for Franco's Article on Moors climbing. I however, elected to go to the match, which we won 1-0.

The snow had been forecast and it was delivering, snowing quite considerably for many hours a day, usually in showers.
Franco, Lewis and Mini managed to get some good shots at the crag and returned home, which left one more crag on the hitlist for the weekend; the imposing, north facing Highcliffe Nab above Guisborough.

We travelled there in the snow and when we got there, the light covering of snow made the crag seem quite pleasant, indeed it seemed to make it look somewhat smaller. I geared up and tackled Scarecrow Crack, so Franco could get some pictures of this Moors Classic and then i tried the start of Stargazer, a summer project of mine.Franco, then wanted a photo of the other Highcliffe classic, 'Highcliffe Crack' but only really succeeded in getting freezing hands, climbing as he was on the Verglassed Northerly Face.
We returned home, in glorious sunshine just before the fresh wave of snow showers struck, a good day actually.

On the Monday, due to the bank holiday we decided to give climbing a miss and i helped my dad with some fence building in the field. However, the day was cold and crisp and Franco arranged to go with Ian Jackson and Luke Hunt to Scugdale to have a spot of bouldering. However, the snow rolled in and we decided that somewhere closer to home would be better. Initially, NOS boulder was the venue but somewhere between putting the phone down and picking me up the decision had been made to go to Camp Hill, somewhere i hadn't been for sometime. No ropes or gear were brought so i couldn't try 'Ace of Winds' so we just bouldered around for an hour or so, inbetween snow showers. Franco's Traverse fell which was good, as it has some good moves on sloping crimps and mono pockets and then finished up the superb 'Cling Wrap', we then tried a slight variation to Cling Wrap direct, but it wasn't the right conditions, something for the future perhaps. All in all another good day, something i never thought would happen with all the pessimistic talk of 'terrible' weather on the forecasts, i think im going to stop listening to them!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

The plan for 2008

The beginning of 2008 started well; good weather, various holidays and most importantly the homework just wasn't there so climbing could be done with little consequence. However, come mid February, this changed. The weather worsened and as i sit here now the rain batters the window to my right, seising for only seconds before the next wave comes in, also such things as Chemistry coursework and 'mock' examinations have blighted many attempts of getting on the shed wall!
Currently bored out of my head, i've decided to list the plans for i have for 2008.

2008 Targets - Climbing
0. Anything Hard - Ongoing
1. Don't Fluff It (E4) - Stanage
2. Fred (E4) - Ravenswick Quarry

1. E3 at least 10 times. - Incomplete
1. West Sphinx Direct - Wainstones
2. Prowess - Scugdale (Scot's)
3. Above Us Only Sky - Polldubh
4. Psyched Out - Bleak How
5. New Dimensions - Scugdale (Barker's)
6. Sculptured Arete - Scugdale (Barker's)
7. Black Magic - Ravenswick Quarry
8. Bummelzug - Ravenswick Quarry
9. Needle Arete - Black Crag (Wrynose Pass)
10. Veteren - Rylstone

2. Keep the E1 and E2 onsight ticks coming - Ongoing
1. Ali Baba (Wainstones) - E2
2. West Sphinx Climb (Wainstones) - E2
3. Sesame (Wainstones) - E1
4. Morning Wall (Cockshaw Hill) - E2
5. Barren Waste (Slipstones) - E2
6. Keep Peddaling (Stanage) - E2
7. Fool's Gold (Bus Stop Quarry) - E1
8. Space Truckin' (Slipstones) - E1
9. Horse Power - Eagle Crag (Grisedale) - E2
10. Fever Pitch - Raven's Scar - E2
11. Satchmo - Raven's Scar - E2
12. Eve (Right Hand) - Scugdale (Scot's) - E2
13. Summit Crisis - Wainstones - E2
14 Left Hand Variation - Wainstones - E2
15. White Wall - Ravenswick Quarry - E2
16. Franco's Wall - Ravenswick Quarry - E2
17. Solstice - Ravenswick Quarry - E1/2
18. Crazy Diamond & Monument Crack - Rylstone - E2 & E1
19. Wombat - Highcliffe Nab - E1
20. Glass Slipper - Black Crag (Wrynose) - E2

3. Work E4/5, on routes that i don't really want to onsight. E.G - Pyscho Syndicate - Incomplete

4. Try my hand at a bit of bouldering, probably at Slipstones - Incomplete
Too Hard! - 'Sulky Little Boys' looked Desperate!
1. V7 Traverse - Ravenswick Quarry - Worked!

5. Try my hand at Sport climbing, aiming for F6c/7a - dependant on holiday!
Welsh Slate - Whizz Bang F6c - Rested on Bolt though.

5.5 Try to get some winter routes under my belt. Aiming for a III/IV if im lucky, but any winter routes will do this year! - COMPLETED - Green Gully IV
6. Climb 'Difficile' / 'Tres Difficle' in the Alps, if i can get there this year. (Unable to complete due to knee)

7. Complete the 'Middlehead project' - Incomplete
Probably not going to happen, though i intend to return and climb 'Beowulf'

8. Climb/help Franco on his FA at Ingleby, 'Physical Graffiti'. - Incomplete
9. Climb around the UK on many different rocktypes - Ongoing
So Far: Sandstone, Gritstone, Quarried Grit, Slate, Mica Schist, Limestone, Magnesian Limestone, Rhyolite.

10. Climb more Multipitch Extremes in the Lakes/Wales/Scotland. - Ongoing
1. Post Mortem - Eagle Crag (Borrowdale) - E3 (Not finished but alot learned!)
2. Horse Power - Eagle Crag (Grisedale) - E1/2 (First pitch is a different route)
3. Spring Bank - Gimmer Crag (Langdale) - E2 (First pitch is a different route)
11. Attempt 'The Wall' at Oak Crag - Incomplete/HARD
Had a look, it seemed a tad hard!
12. Free climb the Aid line at Kay Nest - Incomplete / Impossible
No, doesn't look like we'll go here. If i go down Billsdale i'll do the Classic of the Valley at Highcrag
13. Climb the unclimbed face at Turkey Nab - Incomplete / Impossible
Had a gander... looked possible but dangerous!
14. Climb the 'imposing' face at Kepwick - Incomplete / Impossible

15. Have a go at 'Wedge Route' at Cringle Crag - Incomplete
Visited - Looked fine but it was seeping. We consoled ourselves with a Free ascent of Terry's Dilema! :-) Will return if we get a dry spell next year probably!
16. Climb at least 5 routes on my UKC Wishlist! - Ongoing - Upgraded to ......?! :-)
1. Clapham Junction (HVS) - Polldubh - Done
2. Ali Baba (E2) - Wainstones - Done
3. West Sphinx Direct (E3) - Wainstones - Done
4. Jackdaw Wall (E2) - Wainstones - Done
5. Satchmo (E2) - Raven's Scar - Done
6. Fever Pitch (E2) - Raven's Scar - Done
7. New Dimensions (E3) - Scugdale (Barker's) - Done
8. Sculptured Arete (E3) - Scugdale (Barker's) - Done
9. Gehenna! (HVS or E2? ;-) - Beacon Scar - Done
10. Needle Arete (E3) - Black Crag (Wrynose) - Done
11. Jumping Jack Flash (E2) - Goldsborough - Done
12. Crazy Diamond (E2) - Rylstone - Done
13. Ace of Winds (HVS) - Rylstone - Done

2008 Targets - Physical/Mental

1. Attempt more climbs with Roofs, in order to beat my nemesis!
1. Ali Baba (Wainstones) -E2
2. Mind Release {Solo} (Cockshaw Hill) - E2
3. Horse Power (Eagle Crag - Grisedale) - E2
4. Dat Der (Peak Scar) - VS
5. Pericles {Solo} (Eagle Crag - Grisedale) - HVS
6. Ace of Winds (Camp Hill) - HVS
7. The Other (Eston Nab) - HVS
8. Spring Bank (Gimmer) - E1/2
9. Gehenna (Beacon Scar) - HVS (Not truly a Roof just a big Niche)
10. Monument Crack (Rylstone) - E1 (Tackled the Roof without gear in order to combat fear)

2. Lost 1/2 a stone at least, but really aiming for somewhere near a Stone to bring me to 10.7s
Trying - seem to be skinnier since the wales trip!
No weight lost!
3. Work on upper body strength and finger strength for slabs and for Roofs. - Ongoing

4. Fix knee and build up the 1/2 inch waste on my left thigh. - Ongoing
Apparently i need to get on with it... hopefully this is the case and it will get better. Im undecided

5. Run, at least twice a week once the knee is fixed!

6. Take some lead falls on Gear just to gain some trust. - Ongoing
1. Ben Nevis and Polldubh!!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

The Incline

Ingleby Incline, a crag i had wanted to go to for sometime, especially since Steve Crowe recommended it, with an aim of climbing 'Time Captain', something i currently use as a target.
Getting to Ingleby had been somewhat, awkward however.

Franco journied to the crag twice before me, ticking most of the soloable routes in our grade range. So the quicker i got there the better! Middlesbrough Matches and bad weather got in the way, but finally i got to Ingleby with Franco and set about climbing the routes Franco had done and then having a look at the FA's Franco has his heart set on.

Me on 'Liberty - E1 5c'

The Crag itself if in a fantastic position, situated at the top end of the valley with views across to Hasty Bank and down to the wooded valley bottom. The first route i did at the crag was Pepsi - HVS and it was a nice introduction to the crag, showing that with nearly all the routes, the climbing is quite thin, and the top outs are always interesting!!

'Where's the next route then?'

Then had a look at a few other problems, Namely 'Geronimo - E2 5c' which was nice and pumpy and quite bold and with one eye on Franco's FA, we decided to leave it. Franco tried is FA for a while and i soloed around and had a look at some buttresses. Then it started to rain. More to come from Ingleby, i would think.

Me on one of the slabby routes at Ingleby, just before the Hailstorm.

Eating Ginger Cake, while sheltering from a mild hailstorm.